Sep 25 2019

Pigeon Flat, Holmes & Waitati Tracks

Published by under Hikers

No. 41 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Holmes Track. Pine Hill. Farms. Year Round”

26 km from car park.

12. Hikers Report for Waitati on 30/10/2019.

Twenty three hikers took welcomed refuge at the Blue Skin Cafe from the forecast down pour that struck our party a short distance from the cars. The hike was commenced in pleasant hiking conditions on the board walk to the west of Orokonui Lagoon from the Doctors Point Road.


Photo and Caption John – “I’ve seen friendlier skies”


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Photo and Caption John – “I think I’ll have a muffin with my coffee today”


Photo and Caption John – “Good to be back!”

From there it was a morning tea stop by the substation. From there we had foot paths to the Waitati school where it was hoped that a person from the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust
would provide information on the schools addition of their solar panels, the BEL solar power buy back scheme & their involvement with the Eco House Build that is to be displayed at the Home &
Living show on the 2nd & 3rd of November at Forsyth Barr stadium. This house was constructed by women. It was due to attending to the final details of the Eco house that the BRCT were unable to oblige.


Photo and Caption John – “Enjoying the Opeke track”

The next point of interest was half way up View St we came upon a couple attending to fitting new number plates to a car. The woman who was obviously very proud of this just completed conversion of this vehicle to pure electric. (EV) The bonnet was lifted to show the very neat functional set up which had a range of 140 kilometres. She just had to have a photo of the car & amp;
group. At the top of View St we crossed a sheep paddock to the top of the Waitati cemetery.


Photo and Caption John – “So much History”



Photo and Caption John – “Old meets new”

Apart from the final downpour it was a pleasant stroll completing the eastern Orokonui Lagoon walkway to Doctors Point Road up to Opeke for lunch & return to the cars.


Photo and Caption John – “These are the good old days!!”

Leaders were Betty & Jim Finnie

11. 25/9/2019. Hikers. Pigeon Flat and Waitati. M. Judy K.

This was a new hike for the Club, pioneered by Jim and Betty Finnie and Judy Knox.  Prompted by curiosity about how far the Pigeon Flat Rd went, we explored one day and by a mixture of good luck and ancient history (Judy taught one of the land owners 50 years ago!) the track down to the Waitati River was discovered.  With owner Michael Lee’s permission, an afternoon was spent clearing gorse and broom to open  the track down the fence line.

17 hikers set off from the car park at the top of the motorway in a freezing wind with a forecast of rain and snow, but luckily this didn’t arrive. Down the Pigeon Flat Rd the wind was at our backs and morning tea on the roadside was quite sheltered.

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(John G. pic.)

  No-one was keen to linger, so it was on and over the motorway bridge, then ten minutes along to the junction with the paper road and a left turn onto a farm track.  Ten more minutes took us to the locked gate, where Michael Lee had shown us the hidden key during the recce.  Much easier than our scramble over it the first time!

After a regrouping at the farm sheds a right turn was made through two gates, across the paddocks and down to the bush.  Another gate, then the fence line was followed for about 20 minutes,  on our beautifully cleared track (thanks to Jim’s new chain saw), …

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Track clearing on an earlier occasion. (Judy K pic and caption.)

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Jim and chainsaw. (Judy K pic and caption.)

… to another fence crossing. A sharp left to follow the lower fence where cattle had churned up a few muddy patches, then we crossed the fence again and descended to the river.  It was a bit early for lunch, but too nice a spot to ignore, so there we stayed.

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(John G. pic.)

After lunch and still a bit too cold to linger, we crossed the river (most with dry feet) for the short step climb up the paddock on side to the Waitati Valley Road. From there it was a long but pleasant trudge up the road back to the cars which were reached about 1.15pm.   Our coffee stop was at Emersons.


(Judy pic.)

Special thanks to Michael Lee and Donna (Waitati side) for permission to cross their land.  – Judy K.

10. 13/2/2008. Holmes Track, Pigeon Flat. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.

Although the day was a bit overcast it was really the perfect weather for tramping as it wasn’t too hot. Eleven hikers met at the top of Pigeon Flat and parked our cars well down the road by Gordon Anderson’s farm and set off on what was a very interesting and enjoyable hike. Followed what is probably a 4WD track for a couple of kms till we came to a good spot to sit and have our morning tea break. The track goes round the side of Mt. Cargill till eventually we came out onto the old north road. To get there we scrabbled through some rather overgrown bits, climbed a few fences and went through the odd gate. But it was such lovely scenery and bush to walk through, the views were magnificent, in spite of it being somewhat overcast. We walked down the road for a way and then back onto the track where we had our lunch. As we walked through some of the native bush on the northern slopes of Mt Cargill we saw bellbirds, tomtit, fantail, gray warbler, pigeon, and we ate our lunch to the many sounds from a flock of brown creepers. (This information is from our very own specialist on bird life, Lesley G. She was also able to tell the names of all the native trees and bush we walked through.) After a very pleasant break for lunch,we carried on on the round trip back to the cars. All agreed it was a really good hike and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Bob M kept us entertained, sitting in old clapped road works vehicles, in an old bath by the side of the road and getting his photo taken in them all. – Bev.

9.29/3/2006. Trampers. Pigeon Flat, Holmes Track, Old Main Road. Leaders: Peter and Wendy, Doug M, Les S.
8. 19/6/2002. Holmes Track, Smith Farm, Old Main Road. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Doug J.
7. 31/10/2001. Holmes Track – Smiths Farm – Old Main Road. Easy+. Leaders: Doug and Myrie, Donny.
6. 29/9/1999. Pigeon Flat to Old Waitati Road. Leaders: Ria L, Val, Jack R.
5. 8/7/1998. Sawyers Bay, Grahams Bush, Holmes Track. Leaders: Ray and Diana.
4. 16/4/1997. Pigeon Flat – Smiths Farm – Old Waitati Road. Leaders: Irene, Ria L, Barbara McC.
3. 22/11/1995. Pigeon Flat Road to Old Waitati Road Holmes Track. Medium. Leaders: Les W, Margaret and Les, Jack M.
2. 1/2/1995. Pigeon Flat, Old Waitati Road. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine T, Les W, Ray2.
1. 2/6/1993. Holmes Track – Pine Hill. Medium+. Leaders: George, Les W, Joan H, Chris.

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